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Pulmonary Fibrosis: Vitamins for Lung Scars

Pulmonary Fibrosis: Vitamins for Lung Scars

Scars are a normal part of the healing process. It doesn’t mean they are always good, though. Case in point: Scar tissues in the lungs do not function the way healthy tissues do. Little scars might not lead to signs and symptoms, but huge ones can affect your ability to breathe. That’s why it’s crucial to treat them as soon as possible. The good news is, vitamins for lung scar might be of help. Here’s what you need to know about them.

What Causes Lung Scarring?

Just as any injury to the skin can leave scars, any injury to the lungs can also result in scarring or what doctors call as pulmonary fibrosis. But, what exactly causes lung injury that might eventually lead to lung scarring? Below are the possible reasons:

  • Viral infections, like pneumonia
  • Tuberculosis
  • Smoking
  • Environmental factors, such a the exposure to silica and asbestos
  • Radiotherapy to the chest area
  • Chemotherapy

Old age and interstitial lung disease (inflammation of the air sacs) can also lead to scarring. Moreover, there are instances where doctors cannot pinpoint the exact cause of the scars in the lungs. They call this condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and it commonly occurs in people aged 50 to 70. Estimates say it can affect 13 to 20 people per 100,000 people worldwide.

Keeping these in mind, what are good vitamins for lung scar?

Vitamins For Lung Scar: What Foods Can Help?

Now that we know more about the possible causes of pulmonary fibrosis, let’s talk about the vitamins for lung scar. What foods can help you with lung scarring?

Vitamin C

First on our list is vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant. This vitamin helps with pulmonary fibrosis by fighting off free radicals that might worsen the damage to the lungs. It can also encourage collagen formation, which is an essential part of repairing damaged tissues.

One study even noted that people who had a diet rich in vitamin C (including smokers) had greater lung volume.

Citrus fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C.

Vitamin A

Perhaps, the most popular association with Vitamin A is with our eyesight. However, did you know that this vitamin also plays a “direct part in the complex process of differentiation and maturation of pulmonary tissues?”

Moreover, vitamin A deficiency is associated with respiratory diseases and severe lung dysfunction.

Leafy greens and eggs are great sources of vitamin A.

Vitamin D

We usually identify vitamin D with calcium absorption, but studies also show that it’s one of the vitamins for lung scar.

One report mentioned that vitamin D affects the progress of processes involved in fibrosis, such as coagulation, inflammation, and activation of pulmonary fibrosis, considering it has “antifibrotic” properties.

Another report said that this vitamin can “prevent experimental pulmonary fibrosis.”

Fatty fish and egg yolk are rich in vitamin D. A healthy exposure to sunlight can also provide you with vitamin D.

Important Reminders

If you have pulmonary fibrosis or suspect having it, please get in touch with your doctor – do not self-medicate with these vitamins.

While these vitamins can improve your overall health and help with scarring, they cannot treat your condition and symptoms. Pulmonary fibrosis, after all, may require oxygen therapy for breathing difficulties and medications to slow down the progress of scar formation.

Hence, if you have the following signs and symptoms, please set an appointment with a doctor immediately:

  • Breathing problems
  • Fatigue
  • Dry cough that doesn’t go away

Key Takeaways

Lung scarring or pulmonary fibrosis can lead to incapacitating breathing problems. And while reports say vitamins for lung scar, such as vitamins C, A, and D, can help, a person still needs prompt medical treatment. Hence, if you have the signs and symptoms of lung fibrosis, please consult your doctor.

Learn more about Healthy Eating here.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Pulmonary fibrosis, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pulmonary-fibrosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20353690, Accessed, June 9, 2022

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/condition/idiopathic-pulmonary-fibrosis/#frequency, Accessed, June 9, 2022

Breathe Easy with Vitamin C, https://chiro.org/Graphics_Box_NUTRITION/FULL/Breathe_Easy_with_Vitamin_C.shtml#:~:text=People%20with%20more%20vitamin%20C,lung%20volume%20increased%2022%20mL., Accessed, June 9, 2022

Vitamin A Deficiency and the Lung, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6164133/, Accessed, June 9, 2022

Vitamin D and pulmonary fibrosis: a review of molecular mechanisms, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6949840/, Accessed, June 9, 2022

Vitamin D prevents experimental lung fibrosis and predicts survival in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1094553918302335?via%3Dihub, Accessed, June 9, 2022

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Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated 3 weeks ago
Fact Checked by Kristel Lagorza